Draft Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

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Ygern
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Draft Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

Post by Ygern » Tue May 03, 2011 11:48 pm

Atheism UK has put together a draft version of the Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life, one of the events that will happen at the World Atheist Conference next month. They are looking for feed back from you.
As previously reported, one of the subjects being discussed, at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin on 3-5 June, will be the Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life which intended to build on last year’s Copenhagen Declaration on the same subject. To that end a draft declaration has been circulated and Atheism UK has started a full and frank discussion, in advance of the Convention, so that we can create a final form which is acceptable to a majority of delegates.

As part of that discussion, I have written and published a comprehensive critique of the draft. The Declaration has the makings of a significant document but it is clear that there is much work still to be done, and it would be preferable to deal with this, as far as possible, in advance rather than wait until the event.

I would appreciate responses to the critique, not only from members and followers of Atheism UK but also from Atheist Ireland and Atheist Alliance International.
http://www.atheismuk.com/category/countries/ireland/ Click through for more links

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smellyoldgit
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Re: Draft Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

Post by smellyoldgit » Wed May 04, 2011 1:06 pm

A few observations from one of the rabid baby-eaters at the Raving Atheists.
I'm sure more will follow - feel free to use as you see fit.

Freedom of speech and expression being absolutely required for the existence of all other freedoms, there is no right to freedom from insult or disrespect. (Ergo, no anti-blasphemy or anti-defamation laws)

In order that the state not be required to identify, select and define which bodies of thought and behavior constitute "religions", this declaration should take religion to mean "non-evidentiary, illogical/irrational" modes.

Secular does not mean atheist and it is not hostile to religion, to religious beliefs nor to religious people.

It is important, for instance that laws not be made that would restrict criticism of UFO abduction belief.

References to "secular", change to "must be secular".
"State education must be secular"
"Equality under the law requires that government must be secular"

Public secular education should include historic and civic information about all relevant religions and significant movements but no advocacy of any of them.

Religious and all other behavior is constrained by equal rights and equal responsibility under the prevailing laws and the observance of privacy.

No religious test shall be performed for civil participation in all aspects of public life. (No oaths, no requirement for acknowledgment of a "higher power")

Atheists are currently disadvantaged in many places where
"discriminating against none" is the case. This needs less ambiguous phrasing.

"All subjects, including all Sciences, must be taught free from religious non-evidentiary non-rational influence"

By the freedom of association rule, private employers may choose their employees freely. Employees must adhere to contract and job-specified rules and are not exempt from required potentially religiously onerous public functions.

No representative of or arm of the state can discriminate in employment, job assignment or compensation for work. Private enterprise involving 'public accommodation (access) must not discriminate on religious grounds.
Richard Green
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Re: Draft Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

Post by Richard Green » Tue May 10, 2011 7:01 am

If a single theme can be identified from my critique of the draft “Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life”, it is that it is based not upon the premise of atheism but upon political principles which are not derived from such premise. It is essentially a secularist rather than an atheist declaration.

Traditionally, secularist declarations are not based upon the premise of atheism but upon independent political principles. For example, the UK National Secular Society’s “Secular Charter” is:-
based on equality, respect for Human Rights and objective evidence without regard to religious doctrine or belief.
There is a hint of atheism in the final seven words, but the charter is essentially non-atheistic. The draft declaration follows this tradition. In doing so, it creates many of the difficulties which I have identified in the critique.

But the functions of Atheist Alliance International are “to promote the causes of atheism and secularism”, and the sole object of Atheism UK is “the advancement of atheism”. Secularism is a corollary of atheism; all the desired secularist conclusions can and should be deduced from the premise of atheism. The declaration should not shrink from referring to – and rejecting – “God”, “faith”, “religion” and “the worship, teaching, practice and observance of religion”.

I present an alternative version which does just that. This is a radical approach, but it is surely the correct approach for an atheist organization. It is based upon a sound analysis both of the atheist premise and of constitutional structures.

Alternative “Declaration on Religion in Public Life:-

http://www.atheismuk.com/wp-content/upl ... ation2.pdf

Richard Green
dugges
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Re: Draft Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

Post by dugges » Wed May 11, 2011 1:34 am

Baby steps I think,
First Secularism needs to be promoted, only in a secular society can people see religion for what it is.
Anyone who is anti-secular, such as a fundamentalist will alienate members of his own group and happily disown them saying they won't get magic sweets when they die.

This is about religion in public life and it should be fair on all members, religious or not.
Religion should have no part of government, ergo atheistic

Society should be pluralistic, where people are welcome to believe in what they want provided it doesn't harm others
Blasphemy laws for example, allow for anti-social behaviour of fanatics because they are upset about art or a play.
Faith Schools ghettoise children and for kids who played with eachother in nursery, by the time they are teens, will hate eachother

A secular society is the right society to promote atheism, cause disillusioned fanatics will rise up and form a lobby - Take the USA as an example
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Douglas Adams
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